Soft Launch — Week Two!

–>Wow!  It's hard to believe, but we did what many said was either crazy or impossible.  We opened two campuses within seven days of each other.

Man!  I can't imagine being part of a finer team of people.  Committed to Christ.  Committed to each other. Committed to the community.  Committed to getting the job done, not matter how huge the challenge!

Orillia, it was so great to be with you Saturday morning and watch four trailers full of gear pull up, be emptied, set up, put away and then unloaded again this morning for our first services in Orillia.  Check out this photo collage from Saturday morning!

By every account I've heard, Orillia was a big success.  Barrie had a solid second week as well.  Trust me, there are many challenges lined up to overcome, but we have seven days to do it and we're committed to doing it.

Some highlights from the weekend as a whole:

  • An unbelievable positive spirit…week two.  Even when we started the Barrie service late for the second week in a row, people were so encouraging and enthusiastic.  We had a great time, didn't we?
  • Sacrifice.  You guys rock.  You've reset your schedules, bought new alarm clocks, and given it over to service in a way I've never seen you do it before. All because you want to see people led into a growing relationship with Jesus.  What you are sowing now will reap such a powerful harvest in changed lives in just a few weeks, months and years.  Wow!
  • Our tech team pulled in video quality was much better today in Barrie.  Thanks guys!  Thanks for being so generous in Orillia with what our team thought was not the best quality video for Orillia's week one.  It will just keep getting better every week from hereon in.
  • The lights were so much better!  Again, the team was committed to making the environment better every week.  I could see people.  By the end of the 10:00 service, I felt like I was the real pastor of a real community passionate about a real God.  It was so good to be together on both campuses.
  • The sheer number of people.  There were about 500 adults in worship between the two campuses this morning.  When you add volunteers and kids into that count, it's a very, very encouraging first Sunday with both campuses open, especially since we're not really "open" yet.

We are also aware of what needs to be done in the next week in Barrie and two weeks in Orillia.  We'll be spending our week completely getting ready.  In fact, PCI from Michigan (our gear guys) are coming back Thursday to get us ready.  What are we working on?

  • Labeling all cords and gear so we have an easier system for our incredible e-teams to do an even easier and more efficient job.
  • Solving the power-load issues at both campuses.  We need our friends at Cineplex to authorize the changes, but we have some great ideas.  Power issues led to a lot of the delays in Barrie the last two weeks.
  • Sorting out the video issues.  New cabling, smooth transitions…the whole deal, will be the focus of attention.  There are like a million moving parts in operation, and tweaking a few of the key pieces will solve so many issues.
  • Getting more pieces of the environments from our suppliers.  Most of the Upstreet design backgrounds are still coming, as are basic things like skirting for the main stages.  We hope to have much more of this.  Oh, and signage.  Yeah…in the next while, you'll see the campuses fill up with some great and very helpful signage to take the guesswork out of what theatre is what!
  • Communicating with our teams.  We know you need a little more information to succeed in all the things you'll do.  We'll be helping you.
  • Advertising.  Among other things, we'll be mailing flyers to 13,000 homes in Barrie, Orillia and Oro-Medonte this week.
  • Launching the full web-site.  We're going to finish up the beta and launch it this week!
  • Praying for you.  We know many of you have been inviting your friends, and we'll be praying for all of us this week as we pick up the phone and invite our friends and family to Barrie (December 2nd) and Orillia (December 9th).

Okay, there's about a bazillion other things we'll be working on, but thank you for the privilege of getting it done together.   We appreciate you so much, and deeply anticipate all that God is going to be doing through you and through all of us working together!


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